What’s the difference between a venue and wedding coordinator? I cannot wait to dive into this topic!
“I don’t need a wedding planner because our venue includes a coordinator” is a sentence that will make any wedding planner’s eye twitch. We LOVE venue coordinators. They are absolutely essential to making sure that an event runs smoothly. But so. are. planners. (or wedding coordinators or wedding managers; whatever you actually end up hiring) We have very different jobs and both make each other’s jobs considerably easier.
In general a venue coordinator’s top priority is the venue itself. They ensure that vendors know where things are located, that things are set up and broken down correctly, and that any venue concerns are addressed quickly and efficiently. Some venues include catering and/or bartending as well, which is another layer of responsibility for a venue coordinator.
A planner’s top priorities, on the other hand, are you and your vendors. We make sure that you, your guests, and your vendors have everything you need and are well taken care of while also making sure that all of the moving pieces fit together.
Read on to see how venue coordinators and wedding planners handle different aspects of your wedding differently (and how we need each other!)
*Disclaimer: that this article is only going over wedding management/coordination. Full-service and partial planners have a much broader scope of work. All job duties are estimates, and not every wedding planner with every company will do each task. The same goes for venues and their staff! You should always check before assuming.
How Venue Coordinators and Wedding Planners handle…
pre-wedding vendor management
- Venue- makes sure vendors know where to load in and when the venue opens and closes.
- Planner- communicates all necessary details, including the timeline, to the full vendor team.
- Venue- will request a timeline and may offer suggestions about ceremony or reception start times.
- Planner- will create a full timeline for the entire wedding day and ceremony rehearsal. This includes meeting with you and communicating with all of your vendors to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Venue- may provide a few layout options or give you a floor plan so you can create a layout.
- Planner- will work with you to create a layout and seating plan.
- Venue- for non-church venues, they (or their staff) will open the space for the ceremony rehearsal.
- Planner- will lead the ceremony rehearsal in conjunction with the officiant.
furniture, rentals, and setup
- Venue- if furniture and decor are provided in-house, they/their team will set it up and break it down. They may or may not complete room flips, depending on the venue.
- Planner- ensures the room is set appropriately. They coordinate room flips (sometimes with additional staff) and direct rental vendors to where decor should be placed.
- Venue- for non-church venues: may or may not be present during the ceremony. Might be making sure the bar is set up for cocktail hour/the reception or double checking any venue details for the reception.
- Planner- lines up the full processional when and where they need to be; fixes the train before you head down the aisle; makes sure the processional runs smoothly and ceremony starts off well; directs wedding party, couple, and guests to the appropriate location after the recessional.
- Venue- makes sure guests and vendors are appropriately caring for the facilities. They may or may not be there for the entirety of the reception. If the venue has in-house catering, they will likely work with the catering team to ensure dinner runs smoothly.
- Planner- works closely with the DJ/band, photographer/videographer, and catering team to make sure dinner starts on time, formalities like dances and cake cutting go smoothly, and they have what and who they need when they need them. They will also take care of you and your vendors and assist guests when necessary.
breakdown/end of night
- Venue- similarly to set up, the venue staff breaks down their own furniture and decor. They check with vendors to make sure they’re following venue policies. Oftentimes, another member of the venue staff will handle this; not necessarily the venue coordinator directly.
- Planner- also similar to set up. The planner will ensure that any vendors who are returning for breakdown (such as the florist or rental company) arrive on time, cleans up any personal decor items, and typically stays until the last vendor leaves to touch base with the venue about any check-out procedures.
If you’ve secured a venue with an amazing venue coordinator and need to add a kickass wedding planner to your team, we should chat! Get more info about what I offer or schedule a call with me!
Be the first to comment